A cremation ground in Delhi: Because there isn't enough space, bodies are cremated in a parking lot.

A cremation ground in Delhi: Because there isn't enough space, bodies are cremated in a parking lot.

Foto: DANISH SIDDIQUI / REUTERS

A Country in Flames Complacency and Government Failures Fueled India’s COVID Disaster

India’s health care system and hospitals are on the verge of collapse and crematoriums are overloaded. The country got through the first wave of the coronavirus relatively unscathed, but the second has been a catastrophe, the product of inconceivable mistakes by the government.
By Laura Höflinger and Adnan Bhat in Delhi
DER SPIEGEL 18/2021
SPIEGEL International
Lalan Kumar has driven an ambulance for 10 years now. His work begins at 6 a.m. and he gets home around midnight.

Lalan Kumar has driven an ambulance for 10 years now. His work begins at 6 a.m. and he gets home around midnight.

Foto: Adnan Bhat / DER SPIEGEL
The Seemapuri cremation ground in Delhi is hopelessly overflowing. The waiting time for cremation is two to three hours.

The Seemapuri cremation ground in Delhi is hopelessly overflowing. The waiting time for cremation is two to three hours.

Foto: Adnan Bhat / DER SPIEGEL
"The overall situation is under control."

Harsh Vardhan, India's health minister, at the end of March

A woman in Delhi mourns the loss of her husband, who died of COVID-19.

A woman in Delhi mourns the loss of her husband, who died of COVID-19.

Foto: Adnan Bhat / DER SPIEGEL
Rahul Seth, a 28-year-old lawyer, is trying to save his mother's life.

Rahul Seth, a 28-year-old lawyer, is trying to save his mother's life.

Foto: Adnan Bhat / DER SPIEGEL
"I have never felt so helpless in my whole life."

Rahul Seth